Cannabis to Sched. III, former FDA official predicts (Newsletter: August 29, 2023)

DeSantis dismisses legalization; GOP congressman talks OH marijuana initiative; Presidential candidate Will Hurd on cannabis; Foster care study

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Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, currently Florida’s governor, is doubling down on his opposition to legalizing cannabis—arguing contrary to evidence that Colorado’s “black market for marijuana is bigger and more lucrative than it was” before legalization.

Former Food and Drug Administration Marijuana Working Group Chair Howard Sklamberg said he thinks the agency will recommend that cannabis be moved to Schedule III—in light of political factors like “the election cycle and the administration’s term coming to an end.”

U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) issued a statement explaining why he will vote for a marijuana legalization initiative on Ohio’s November ballot. Meanwhile, the state published official pro and con arguments about the measure that will be distributed to voters.

Marijuana Moment compiled a comprehensive look at where Republican presidential candidate Will Hurd stands on cannabis. During his time in Congress, he voted against almost every reform proposal—legalization, banking, veterans access and hemp—though he did back a limited CBD measure.

A new study found that states that legalize medical cannabis see “an 8–10 percent decrease in the number of [foster care] cases associated with parental drug abuse in the first two years, followed by an 18 percent decrease in the third year.”

  • “We calculate that on average, approximately 700 fewer entries to foster care related to parental drug abuse occurred when a state legalized medical marijuana.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services adopted new rules aimed at combating “lab shopping” for higher THC potency results.

Three of Delaware’s six most prominent beach towns have voted to ban marijuana businesses, while officials in the other three are considering doing the same.


President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring August 27 through September 2 as Overdose Awareness Week.

White House Office of Public Engagement Director Stephen Benjamin touted President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons in a speech commemorating the 60th anniversary of the “March on Washington” at the Lincoln Memorial.

Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), along with other cosponsors, filed a bill to end deportations of Southeast Asian American refugees that notes that “key policies during the 1990s including the period’s ‘War on Drugs’…entangled a significant number of Southeast Asian Americans, especially Southeast Asian youth, within the criminal justice system.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said that “Floridians overwhelmingly support cannabis reform.”


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed budget legislation that gives pending medical cannabis dispensaries more time to open as well as an opportunity to remove disciplinary actions from their records.

Virginia’s lieutenant governor expressed concerns about fentanyl-laced marijuana.

Texas’s agriculture commissioner discussed his support for medical cannabis, predicting that a comprehensive patient access program would pass with wide bipartisan support if brought up for a floor vote.

Minnesota’s Senate majority leader said she expects that lawmakers will make changes to the state’s marijuana legalization law over time.

The chair of the South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee discussed the state’s medical marijuana program.

A New York assemblymember filed a bill to require people under 21 who are caught with marijuana to attend a diversion program along with their parents.

The Oregon Court of Appeals granted a motion to suspend rules on testing cannabis for aspergillus.

Vermont regulators will consider cannabis business flood relief and other issues on Wednesday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Terrence Drew toured a medical cannabis farm in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Costa Rica Legislative Assembly’s Environment Commission rejected proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill.

A German lawmaker tweeted, “A strict ban on consumption in the vicinity of #Cannabis clubs is difficult to control & the benefit for the protection of minors is questionable. Instead, we need proportionate & accurate regulations that ensure real protection of minors & do not overload the judiciary.”

A Victoria, Australia lawmaker discussed legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with driving under the influence.


A review concluded that “cannabis may represent a promising therapeutic agent to reduce [delayed-onset muscle soreness] and allow quicker recovery time from the associated mechanisms of pain and inflammation reduction.”

A review concluded that “two randomized controlled trials combining LSD and psychotherapy have been performed in patients with [anxiety disorders] with and without life-threatening conditions, showing a good safety profile and persisting decreases in anxiety outcomes.”


Decriminalize Nature’s board chair and president resigned.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board is backing a plan to open marijuana social use lounges in the city.


Planet 13 Holdings Inc. is acquiring VidaCann, LLC.

The S&P discontinued two cannabis business indices.

Verano Holdings Corp.’s CEO sent an open letter to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) expressing concerns about the state’s medical cannabis business licensing system.

Arkansas dispensaries sold $23.2 million worth of medical cannabis products in July.


Tennis player Maria Sakkari said she was bothered by the smell of marijuana during a match that she lost.

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